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Survey Offers Glimpse Into Role of Gender in Auto Purchases

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Jan. 31, 2013—Both men and women have the perception that they wield the most influence when making an auto purchase, according to a new survey of vehicle owners conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

The survey found that 72 percent of men believe that they’re the ones with the most influence when it comes to buying a vehicle, while 60 percent of women believe they have the most say.

Survey participants agreed on who has influence on specific aspects of the purchase: 85 percent of men and 47 percent of women believe that men have the upper hand in decision making about engine and powertrain matters. When it comes to choosing vehicle options, both genders again believe they have the edge: 70 percent of women and 60 percent of men say they have the most influence on picking vehicle options.

"One of our industry's most daunting tasks is meeting the needs of such a wide range of consumers," said Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President and CEO Mitch Bainwol. "And this research shows why that can be such a complex process: there are a lot of different voices in so many households.  But what's especially impressive about this data is that it shows what a strong role women play in so many purchases."

The survey results also offer a look into perceptions of how both genders interact with vehicles after purchase. For example, 55 percent of those polled said women were more likely than men to purchase a navigation system to avoid getting lost, and 48 percent believe that women use their turn signals more than men.

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